An Ear to the Ground in Stevens Point

As I was sitting in the Stevens Point Public Library, pegging away on my laptop, I glanced up as a person passed, and I took a double take-- it was Senator Feingold! Upon investigation, I found a listening session with the Senator in the library's meeting room. Curious to see what Portage County residents are fired up about, I took a seat at the back.

As I sat, I was waiting for someone to criticize the Senator for speaking up against the ban and for marriage equality. After 50 minutes, I started to come to the conclusion that the ban on civil unions and marriage simply didn't figure in the participants' top priorities (notably the Iraq war, health care, veterans protections, Iran, the censure, and funding public schools).

Then an elderly man sitting right in front of me was called upon by the Senator. He said that he had recently seen an article on the Senator's position on the ban. I held my breath to see which side he was going to fall on. "And I wanted to confirm your position, and thank you for speaking out for the rights of gays and lesbians." The Senator confirmed that his position is indeed against the ban, and to my-- and perhaps his-- surprise the room erupted into applause.

I’m excited for the meeting tonight at the UW-SP at 6pm; we have fertile grounds to be working in.

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At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goosebumps! I got goosebumps reading that story!

We are going to win in NOvember, when all fair-minded Wisconsinites will vote NO. Why do you think its spelled that way? NO-vember.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger John said...

I strongly encourage people to write to politicians, like Russ Feingold, who are against the amendment. My guess is that people will typically write to their legislators when they are extremely upset. Politicians need to know that when they stand up for us, we'll stand up for them.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Mike Fitzpatrick said...

As a 25-year former resident of the city, all I can say is that Pointers have been simply amazing on gay equality issues in the last year!
Here's what I wrote last August reporting on Stevens Point's first-ever pride event:
"Point’s first-ever gay pride event happened just two blocks from the city’s annual “Corn On The Curb” festival. The pride festival was largely queer-populated during the day, but by evening - in a historic and amazing synergy - the two festivals actually appeared to merge. By drag show time, straight attendees appeared to outnumber the LGBT contingent.
Following the pride festival’s close, gay and straight mixed at the city’s famous public square taverns and clubs, many of which offered free or reduced-price drinks to Pride card holders." (Quest, Vol. 12 No. 5, August 18, 2005)
When we make our lives visible to the rest of the population, acceptance typically follows. The "fallout" from our coming victory on the ban this November will resonate far beyond the ballot in terms of our goal of achieving full marriage equality.
Russ Feingold may be our hero but he's also a politician. He knows which way the political winds are blowing.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GLBT Folks supporting Russ Feingold!


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